The European Union is at a crossroads: business as usual, a new era, or fragmentation and conflict. Drawing confidence and inspiration from its management of the COVID crisis, Europe must now face the inescapable challenge of shaping a future that deals with the global pandemic’s aftereffects, the climate crisis, and escalating political turmoil. The High-Level Group of academics reflects on the main economic and social challenges the European economy will face in the post-COVID environment.
Europe finds itself in the midst of a paradigm shift. The aftermath of the COVID pandemic, war raging in Ukraine and the deepening climate crisis – which was made even more evident in the latest IPCC Working Group II report – are the tell-tale signs. Today’s policy decisions have the potential to usher in a new era for Europe or lead to division, conflict and environmental destruction.
Ensuring that the right pathway is undertaken requires research and understanding of how policy decisions will influence future pathways so that the medium to long term effects are considered. A central part to this is creating future scenarios that can depict the world of tomorrow based on the decisions of today. To this end, the report of the High-Level Group convened by Commissioner for the Economy, Paolo Gentiloni, on post-COVID economic and social challenges looks at what a new era for Europe engenders and how the Union can make the most of its pandemic recovery, pursue sustainable growth, and promote global stability.